Swindon parkrun, Event 439, Run report

Swindon parkrun
Event number 439
2nd March 2019

Happy birthday to us! Swindon’s incredible parkrun celebrated its 9th birthday at event 439.

On 6th March 2010 a pioneering cadre of 30 runners turned up to the first run - and since then, the puzzled-looking wide-eyed infant has grown into a boisterous nine year old with its own distinct personality, stubborn habits and a wide circle of true friends.

A drizzle-flecked grey morning did little to put off participants, there were 637 in total - just a shade short of the Lydiard record of 649 - my haven’t you grown!

Swelling our numbers were members of the Royal Wootton Bassett Hounds Running Club who were using parkrun as one of their club championship events -  it was great to see so many of our yellow vested buddies.

We were also joined by visitors from Lancaster, Lancashire, Bristol and London. Hello!

Parkrun director Emma Sperring - one of the 30-strong originals - welcomed the assembled runners and announced that henceforth she will be sharing her responsibilities with the highly capable Graham McDermott ‘the Scottish man under the gazebo’ who is now the co-event director.

Emma explained that he will be generally responsible for the technical side of things. And because of his very specific skill set, he is also your go-to person for any complaints whatsoever, apparently...

Congratulations Graham… everything’s going fine!


Legendary Leah Baker was thanked for her 100th outing as a volunteer - Leah regularly runs a reconnaissance lap of the course to ensure all is in order ahead of the main event - thanks for scouting Leah, it’s much appreciated!

Oliver Busby and Harriet Wellsbury have now clocked up 10 parkruns!

And Rhoda Lewis is now a fifty-er. Not only that, but Eddie Bailey is a one hundred-er! Most excellent.

It was an anti-clockwise run this time around, ‘cos it’s the first run of the month. And although there was some disgruntled pantomime muttering from some quarters, it’s the original way that the Swindon parkrun event was run… if you don’t like it,  run it backwards… or tell Graham.


Hey, if you like big numbers (and who doesn’t?) it’s worth noting that in the nine years since the launch of the Lydiard run, a total of 15,909 participants have completed 143,808 parkruns and between them covered a total distance of 719,040 km. Not only that, but 1,276 individuals have volunteered 11,680 times.


Here’s another number - 52 - that’s the number of volunteers this week - the equivalent to one volunteer for every twelve and a quarter person taking part!


See you next week…


Ben Fitzgerald